Creating highly repetitive circuits in Kicad

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Mark Robson

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Jan 10, 2022, 5:34:44 AMJan 10
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Hi,

We discussed on the Electronics Call on Friday - Richard was having difficulty creating highly repetitive PCBs in Kicad.

I've found a relatively sane way of doing this in Kicad 6 - it's not perfect but works for me for a panel of LEDs each with its own resistor. I was able to rapidly create a panel of 100 LED + resistor without having to separately route the track from the resistor to the LED, and DRC passes and changes on the schematic can be propagated normally.

I've documented it here for your info:


(I also found a bug in Kicad6 doing this which I've raised)

Regards

Mark

Alex Gibson

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Jan 10, 2022, 8:01:03 AMJan 10
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Hi Mark,

 

Thanks for sharing this, I might use it soon!

 

Cheers,

 

Alex Gibson

 

+44 7813 810 765    @alexgibson3d    37 Royal Avenue, Reading RG31 4UR

 

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Richard Ibbotson

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Jan 10, 2022, 8:50:51 AMJan 10
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Hi Mark, 
Many thanks for investigating and documenting this.
Will try it now.
Cheers.
Richard


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On 10 Jan 2022, at 13:01, Alex Gibson <al...@alexgibson.net> wrote:



Frank in Woodcote

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Jan 11, 2022, 1:44:08 AMJan 11
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Looks like a @bigclive "super computer" special 👍🏻

Mark Robson

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Jan 11, 2022, 4:08:14 AMJan 11
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Yes, "Bigclive super computer" was the thing I was going for. But it's not necessary to use a schematic for a design that simple, you could just duplicate the design and not worry about DRC or schematic matching.

I've tried it with a slightly more complicated design and the same principle seems to work, just needs a bit of care to ensure that the designators match up, which they should if those steps are followed in that order. I think it helps to do the repeating part first and any non-repeating sections after. If done right, all schematics should be connected to the components on the PCB and DRC should pass.

Making a change to the repeating design is a bit of a chore,it's necessary to delete all instances except one, then make the changes, then duplicate again and hope the designators are correct.

Mark

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